Review: A Witch in Time by Constance Sayers

How great is this cover!?

Long time, no blog! Although I have transitioned to working from home part time/in the office the rest of the time, I feel like I’m running in circles and constantly on edge with the current state of the world during this pandemic. I’m finally starting to get into a rhythm with my new reality, and reading (and actually comprehending what I read) is getting easier. Thank goodness!

A Witch in Time was a perfect escape read for me. It has all of the things I love in a novel: historical fiction, a bit of romance, multiple timelines, and solid writing, with the added bonus of some paranormal magic.

Helen is a present-day magazine exec in Washington DC who begins to remember her past lives (and loves), beginning when she was a young woman in 1895 France. As Juliet, she was the young muse and lover of an older, married Parisian artist. When her mother—a witch—attempts to curse the artist, she botches the spell and ends up binding Juliet to the artist for all time, dooming her to relive their failed affair and die tragically young through history. Luke Varner is a minor demon who is assigned to maintain the curse and look after Juliet, and he’s been helplessly in love with her in each of her reincarnations. Juliet/Helen is a witch herself, and has gotten stronger with each life, and Helen struggles to find a way to stop the curse forever before she runs out of time again.

I was completely absorbed in the story and adored the main character in all of her incarnations. As Helen remembers each of her 3 past lives, we get an interesting trip through time and around the world. The romance is nicely crafted, and I was very much invested in the characters. I love the way the story is structured and the pacing is great. The ending did feel a bit rushed, but the epilogue went a long way to redeem it. Overall, an excellent story.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for my copy.


Review: Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford

I’m still catching up ARCs from my initial requesting frenzy when I joined NetGalley last July. 😳 This debut YA fantasy was one such book, and I’m glad I finally got around to it.

Admittedly, I haven’t read a whole lot of YA fantasy over the last couple of years. I got a little burned out on them and started spacing them out a bit. Although the title of this book is very similar to a lot of other titles in the genre lately, the premise itself is quite fresh and original. Varenia, an ocean village filled with people who have never set foot on land, sends its most beautiful daughter each generation to the mainland to marry the prince of Ilara. Twins Nor and Zadie are acknowledged to be the most beautiful of their generation in Varenia (of course, one has a scar that somehow invalidates that beauty…🙄), but conditions for the ocean village have been in decline for years and political conflicts and royal intrigue abound on land, where the king of Ilara is dying and Princes Ceren and Talin are at odds.

The writing is good, although this book does follow a similar pattern to a lot of other YA fantasy that I have read. Love triangles (maybe), ambiguously motivated baddies, implausible events, and a bit of insta-love caused me some mild irritation, but not enough for me to stop reading. I did like Nor, the setting of Varenia and the court drama, and the story moves along quickly to an expected cliffhanger ending. Overall, I think this is a solid start to a promising series—I plan to read the next book when it comes out later this year.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review.